Kelly’s Roast Beef, a Boston icon with seven decades of history, is looking to expand not only regionally in New England, but also establish a presence in South Florida. Kelly’s has turned its attention south in hopes of reaching Boston transplants and fresh faces alike as the brand targets the region. The beloved brand is specifically looking at areas throughout Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and more.

The iconic chain is a household name in Boston, earning pop culture references in 30 Rock, Good Will Hunting, and more. Kelly’s Roast Beef’s loyal following was buzzing with excitement this spring when the brand announced the launch of its franchise opportunity, opening up the possibility for anyone to get involved with the Boston staple. Since then, Neil Newcomb, CEO of Kelly’s Roast Beef Franchising, has been overwhelmed with interest from prospective franchisees, but one thing that took him by surprise was where the interest was coming from.

“We were expecting to get a lot of interest in New England, but it was amazing to see so many people in South Florida get excited about the brand,” said Newcomb. “After looking into it, we have decided that it would be a great area for a restaurant like Kelly’s and we are looking forward to getting to know potential franchisees who are ready to make it happen.”

Newcomb is a nearly 30-year veteran of the franchise industry. He started his franchise career with McAlister’s Deli, which was founded by the Newcomb family, and then served as the head of franchising for Brixx Wood Fired Pizza until 2019. Since spearheading Kelly’s Roast Beef’s franchise opportunity, Neil has been connecting with prospective franchisees and beginning to build relationships, despite in-person limitations due to COVID-19. Newcomb is looking to develop up to 20 locations throughout South Florida, which could bring about 1,200 jobs opportunities to the region.

“The franchise opportunity that Kelly’s presents is truly unlike anything out there. This is a brand with almost 70 years of experience and a passionate following that reaches far beyond the Boston area,” added Newcomb. “In expansion to South Florida, we’re looking to introduce the brand to locals, but also give Boston natives who have relocated a taste of home.”

Newcomb says that he has gotten a lot of messages from people who left Boston who watch Kelly’s live feed when they feel homesick. The feed broadcasts the historic Revere Beach location 24/7. Knowing the significance of the brand and how it reminds people of Boston, he believes the expansion will excite a lot of South Florida residents who have lived in or visited Boston, as well as local foodies who haven’t yet had the chance to try the New England staple.

The history of Kelly’s dates back to 1951, when founders Frank McCarthy and Ray Carey first worked together at the Paul Roger House in Revere Beach, Massachusetts. The duo claims to have invented the modern roast beef sandwich completely on a whim and, since then, the Kelly’s Roast Beef sandwich has become a local legend. A busy location during its peak season can sell upwards of 20,000 roast beef sandwiches a month. Across its multiple locations, Kelly’s estimates a staggering one million sandwiches sold a year.

Including a franchise fee of $40,000, the total initial investment to open a Kelly’s franchise is $900,000-$1.7 million. For the first 10 franchise agreements signed, the royalty will be 3 percent year one, 4 percent year two, and 5 percent for the remainder of the term.

Growth, News, Kelly's Roast Beef